Small Summer Philosophies #4



Everyone is on vacation. Officially, I have been “free” for a few weeks now. That’s what the word “vacation” literally means, by the way: “to be free”, from the Latin word vacare – also the root of vacuum, which is a space devoid of anything. But I don’t feel very free at all, especially not on the inside. To continue the metaphor of vacationing as “emptying” – I feel like I’m trying to dig a hole in the ocean. Yes, a lot of Work is tossed out of the daily routine, but immediately Daily Stuff has flowed in and replaced it with small worries, aches & pains. Nope, I’m not in vacation-mode at all yet.

My inner unrest is made worse by the general imperative, shouted at me from commercials, billboards and through the social media, that THIS IS THE TIME TO RELAX! HURRY UP! SUMMER’S HERE! ENJOY YOURSELF! NO STRESS! OR ELSE!!

I must forget about getting a vacation. I’m not going to be “free” from my own thoughts & routines. A better approach is to consider this period the Holidays – and I really mean Holy Days. (called that because in the Olden Days people only got days off that were religion-related).

What did people do on holy days? It was not a matter of being free, but of doing something ELSE than the daily routine. To find an occupation that is a bit more edifying than just work. Something that lifts you up and gives you a new perspective.

When you look at it this way, everything can be Holy. As long as it gets you away from the ordinary.

This Summer, I’m not going to be Vacationing – I’ll be Substitioning.


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About the Author

Margreet de Heer
Margreet de Heer
Margreet de Heer lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with her husband Yiri T. Kohl. A long time ago, she studied Theology at the University of Amsterdam, but through divine intervention she ended up as a comic artist. She worked at the famous comic store Lambiek from 2000 until 2005, and wrote a book about Dutch comics together with Kees Kousemaker. Since 2005 she is a full-time comic artist producing a wide range of work, from children's comics in magazines to cartoons at business conferences. In 2007 she started making philosophical comic "reports" for newspaper Trouw. This resulted in a book edition in 2010, soon followed by graphic novels about Religion, Science and World Domination. Margreet plans to expand the series to a total of seven books, also covering the subjects Love, Death and Self. 'Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics' and 'Science: a Discovery in Comics' are successfully published at NBM. 'Religion: a Discovery in Comics' came out in October 2015.

1 Comment on "Small Summer Philosophies #4"

  1. I enjoy reading your blog entries, Margreet. I learned a little bit about philosophy in high school, but I never really followed it up. I enjoyed the little musical animated blog a few days ago. My dad has a book of some of Spinoza’s works, but I haven’t read it. Thank you.

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